The American Association of Orthodontists wants everyone to know that October is National Orthodontic Health Month. So this is a great time to offer some fun facts and answer some frequently asked questions about the field.
At M. Scott Runnels Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in Destin and Panama City Beach, our friendly team of professionals is available to provide you and your children with the best orthodontic care all year long. Contact Runnels Orthodontics today to learn more or schedule a visit.
Here is some information about orthodontics that you may have been unaware of:
- About four million people are receiving orthodontic care throughout America. About 75 percent of these are patients younger than age 18, but more and more adults are opting for braces, proving it’s never too late to improve your smile!
- The first mechanical effort to correct irregular teeth was developed by Gaius Plinius Secundus nearly 2,000 years ago!
- The AAO has more than 12,000 members in America, Canada and beyond.
- Most orthodontic treatment can be done in 12 to 36 months, depending on the patient and the severity of his or her problem.
- The cement used to attach braces to teeth is made with a substance that emits fluoride.
- Wires triggered by body heat used in many braces today were developed by NASA for America’s space program.
- Some famous patients treated by orthodontists have been Dr. Joyce Brothers, Cher, Diana Ross, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg and Daisy Fuentes.
Here are some frequently asked questions from the AAO:
- Q: If my teeth have been crooked now for many years, why would I need treatment?
- A: Healthy teeth can be treated by an orthodontist, no matter the patient’s age. The treatment creates and restores proper function. Teeth that work the best usually look better as well. And a healthy, attractive smile improves your self-esteem.
- Q: Do I need to follow a different oral hygiene regimen during orthodontic treatment?
- A: Yes. Making sure teeth and braces remain clean does call for extra effort on your part. Your orthodontist can teach you the best ways to brush and floss, and how often you should do so. Always follow your orthodontist’s recommendations to achieve the best results. Most patients with braces should stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy foods and snacks. Also, remember to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning at least every six months while you are undergoing orthodontic care.
- Q: Can I get braces that are less visible or noticeable?
- A: Yes, in many cases. Ask your orthodontist about lingual braces, which are inserted behind the teeth. Ceramic braces also are less visible than traditional metal braces. And the use of clear aligner, or invisible braces, is a popular option for teenagers and adults.
- Q: Can I play sports while I wear my braces?
- A: Yes. But it’s imperative you also wear a protective mouth guard to prevent injury and to protect your orthodontic devices.
- Q: Can I play musical instruments with braces on?
- A: Yes! With a little practice and some adjustment, braces typically do not prevent you from playing your favorite wind and brass instruments.